I don't need Champions League lesson, says Mancini
- 03 October 2012 08:25
- Posted by Mark Booth
Roberto Mancini has branded tonight’s UEFA Champions League clash with Dortmund a “must win” game, demanding an improvement from his players in the competition.
The Independent pick up quotes from yesterday’s press conference in which the Italian dismissed the idea that he needed to improve in the tournament, shifting the emphasis onto his players.
"I don't need to learn," said the man who has led teams to four domestic titles.
"The Champions League is a difficult competition, but the football is the same, the players are the same, it is still 11 versus 11. The problem is that you play the best teams from other countries. Every game is difficult.
“I think the time will come when we can win the Champions League but in this moment we are in a difficult group.
“Sometimes, when you play in the Champions League, you should be lucky with the draw. It is important for us to get into the second stage because, after that, anything can happen."
Today’s Guardian picks up on a similar theme, with the manager’s warning that City need to stop conceding easy goals if they wish to progress from Group D.
"In the second half in Madrid we played really well, but it was a mistake to drop back too deep after scoring our second goal," Mancini said.
"We conceded a lot of space to players as good as Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, and that's what cost us. If we are going to get out of this Champions League group we need to improve very quickly because we only have five games left, and we need to stop conceding easy goals like we did in Madrid."
German football expert Raphael Honigstein has highlighted the threat of Dortmund forward Robert Lewandowski in his column on the BBC website.
“The 24-year-old went on to have a fantastic second half of the season. Lewandowski was the key difference between the sides as Bayern Munich lost the decisive Bundesliga game 1-0 at the Westfalenstadion,” wrote Honigstein.
“He scored a hat-trick against the same opposition in the DFB Cup final, then netted the opening goal at Euro 2012 for Poland in the 1-1 draw with Greece.
“A mobile, technically good target-man, he's the perfect focal point for their attacking game and almost impossible to replace.”
Finally, Mario Balotelli lent his time and profile to a charity campaign launched by Manchester band The Rainband.
“As a City fan to get the support of the club for this project is a really great thing,” said lead singer Martin Finnegan from Urmston.
“Their support ensured the auction raised over 11,550 euros which was way beyond anybody’s expectations.”